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X2Fic: Renovations and Repairs (Gen, G)

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  • Mara Greengrass
    TITLE: Renovations and Repairs AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass AUTHOR S E-MAIL: fishfolk@ix.netcom.com. Feedback is better than chocolate. PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Yes,
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 9, 2003
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      TITLE: Renovations and Repairs
      AUTHOR: Mara Greengrass
      AUTHOR'S E-MAIL: fishfolk@.... Feedback is better than
      PERMISSION TO ARCHIVE: Yes, just let me know.
      CATEGORY: Gen, S/J(ish)
      SUMMARY: After the events of X2, Scott deals with some damage.
      DISCLAIMER: The X-Men and the X-Men movieverse belong to Marvel and
      Twentieth-Century Fox and other entities with expensive lawyers.
      NOTES: This fic contains some general spoilers for the sequel (based
      on the novelization), but not many specifics. Thanks to Naomi and Min
      for suggesting that I post now, instead of waiting :)

      * * * * *

      For Scott, the worst part was finding new damage. Just when he thought
      he'd accustomed himself to the havoc wreaked on his home of so many
      years--his castle, if you will--he found something new.

      On this particular Friday afternoon, it was a bullet hole in the wall
      of Jean's office. Not her lab downstairs, but her administrative
      office, with the skull perched on the desk grinning, the biology
      textbooks piled neatly on a shelf, and the Matisse reproduction from
      the Met she'd hung slightly crooked. The hole was an inch above the
      window behind her desk, and when he turned to gauge where it had come
      from, he had a sudden vision of a bullet striking Jean, a Jean who'd
      stayed behind at the mansion instead of Logan.

      It felt as if his heart had stopped beating for a moment, as he
      relived the might-have-beens of the invasion of the school. A fist
      clutched at his chest, squeezing ever tighter as he raged at the plan
      that had lured him away from his charges at such a crucial moment. The
      world grayed and Scott fought for control, fought back the fear.

      Then, as it had each time, the fist released him and he resisted the
      urge to gasp for breath. Tightening his shields and hoping Jean hadn't
      sensed anything, he picked up the book he'd come to retrieve and made
      a mental note to fix the bullet hole. Soon.

      He strode out of the room, placing each foot with deliberate care to
      distract himself. Absently, he noted that the hallways looked
      practically normal. The Professor brought in professionals to fix the
      majority of the mansion almost before everyone had returned. He'd paid
      the workers exorbitant amounts to rush, to erase the ugly reminders of
      the students' ordeal, and they did an excellent job.

      The wood paneling looked as ancient as ever, even the replacement
      panels; the intact artwork hung straight once again, while damaged
      artwork had been removed; the floors gleamed from a recent
      refinishing; and windows and doors were intact, erasing the tracks of
      American soldiers crashing through them.

      But it was the little things that got to Scott: the stray edge of a
      claw mark scored into a metal wall, doors that didn't quite hang
      right, and bullet holes in odd locations that reminded him of what had
      happened when he wasn't there to protect everyone.

      It was the end of the first full week back in session, and as Scott
      walked down the hall, he realized there was something not quite right.
      He stopped and listened, but didn't hear the usual Friday sounds of
      books being dumped, feet rushing to the pool table, and televisions
      blaring MTV.

      He strained. There were voices coming from...he turned in a circle
      before deciding the sounds came from the direction of the basketball
      court. Jogging down the hallway, he wondered if there was a fight that
      had attracted the students' attention--if that was the case, someone
      was going to have detention for a very long time.

      He pushed away fears that it could be something worse.

      Down a set of steps, around a corner, and the voices grew louder.
      Dodging the large ornamental vase, and through a set of wooden doors
      with brand new glass panels, stopping short at the edge of the
      basketball court.

      What looked like the entire student body was there. They were milling
      around, so it took Scott a few seconds to find the center--predictably
      occupied by Rogue, Bobby, Kitty, Peter, and Jubilee.

      Each held a piece of paper, much scribbled upon, and obviously
      important from the way they clutched them. Each was reading things off
      the paper and pointing to a different section of the blacktop. For the
      first time, Scott noticed piles arrayed on the ground: putty knives,
      spackle, wood stain, and much more. It looked like they'd mugged a
      Home Depot.

      He heard the door open behind him but he didn't turn, just stared at
      the students in front of him. One or two noticed him watching and
      waved cheerily, before resuming their frantic activity. The apparently
      aimless movement began to make sense.

      "What's going on, Scott?" Jean asked.

      Scott shook his head slowly in amazement, just as Rogue noticed the
      two teachers. She yelled something, but couldn't make herself heard
      over the crowd. Grabbing Remy's shoulder as he passed by, she handed
      her paper to him and came over.

      "Hi, Mr. Summers, Dr. Grey," she said, obviously trying to suppress a

      "What's this?" Scott knew the answer, but he wanted to hear her response.

      "We're going to help finish the renovations. All the big stuff's done,
      but it's gonna take forever to patch everything else up, so we thought
      we'd pitch in, do what we could."

      Scott could feel Jean's mixed emotions running through their link:
      happiness, sadness, pride, worry. "You don't have to do this," Jean
      said. "The Professor will--"

      "Of course we have to do it." Rogue frowned. "This is our home and we
      want it back the way it was."

      Scott swallowed sharply. "It can never be exactly the same, you know."

      "I know. It'll be better." Rogue nodded firmly, and in that moment,
      Scott saw the last vestiges of the scared southern belle who'd joined
      the school replaced by a battleworn soldier who knew exactly where she
      stood. "So, we really need someone else who knows which end of the
      hammer to hold. Would you like to help? We divided up the
      responsibilities and pooled our money to buy the paintbrushes and stuff."

      "I'd be honored to help," Scott said, his throat tight. "Just tell me
      what to do."

      Rogue took his hand, her glove smooth in his grip, and led him to the
      assembled students. Behind him, he heard Jean explaining things to
      Ororo, Logan, and the Professor, who'd just arrived on the scene.

      As far as Scott was concerned, the explanation was simple: The real
      repairs had finally begun.

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